Updated: November 7, 2023
I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t visit the library. I mean, I do… I just do it via my phone with apps like Libby, SimplyE, and others. But I didn’t realize that your nearby library offers resources far beyond books. Many of the more extensive libraries in metro areas provide language learning and much more. So, if your English language skills need more improvement, this is your resource. There are some great locations to choose from and some aren’t even libraries!
We’ve compiled a list of English language programs including free classes in the New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Boston, and Washington DC metropolitan areas. You’ll be speaking like a local in no time!
New York City
Lefrak City Library
Free English conversation classes at 10:30 am
98-30 57 Avenue
Corona, NY 11368
LaGuardia Community College, Division of Adult and Continuing Education
Offers free English as a Second Language (ESL) and civics classes for individuals ages 18 and over.
31-10 Thomson Avenue, Room C250
Long Island City, NY 11101
Queensborough Community College
Free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
CUNY Center for Higher Education,
222-05, 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Andy Bell-Two locations
Free English classes in NYC for adults who live in NYC aged 21 and over. Classes are advanced and emphasize listening and speaking.
Community Impact, Columbia University
English as a Second Language (ESL) Program
105 Earl Hall
New York, NY 10027
El Puente de Williamsburg
Offers free English as a Second Language (ESL) for people ages 21 and over.
211 South 4th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
New York City Tech (Designated College of CUNY)
Offers free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for people ages 19 and over.
300 Jay St, Brooklyn
Brooklyn, NY 11201
The websites listed below are for conversation partners. Conversation partners often want to learn your native language and can help you improve your English speaking skills simultaneously.
Language Exchange Community – Specifically NYC Website
This website connects you with other individuals interested in becoming language partners primarily through three modes of communication: face-to-face, pen-pal, or text and voice chat. Sign up and connect with other people interested in language exchange.
New York Public Library
Practice conversation with library volunteers. For the most current information, please call The New York Public Library’s Office of Teaching & Learning, Literacy and Outreach at (212) 340-0918 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Multiple locations at various New York Public Libraries.
You may find this resource from NYPL on Teaching Information Literacy helpful, too.
Los Angeles, CA
FREE English as a Second Language (ESL) Wednesdays at the Westwood Center
1133 Westwood Blvd, Suite 201
Los Angeles, CA 90024
For more information: Call (310) 824-6938
East Los Angeles College
Offers (ESL three days a week, Monday-Wednesday, 6:00 – 7:45pm. Free to the community. Visit www.elac.edu for contact information.
Los Angeles Public Library
Offers ESL tours that highlight the ESL learning resources offered by the library. Tours are given in English and can be booked by calling the Docent Office at (213) 228-7168.
Los Angeles City College
English Literacy Program (part of the Workforce Readiness Academy)
This program offers free, open entry, non-credit ESL and Vocational ESL classes which provide the essential English skills needed to survive in a predominantly English-speaking society. The curriculum will develop students’ writing, reading, and verbal communication abilities.
855 N. Vermont Avenue,
Los Angeles, California 90029
Lado International College, DC Center
Provides free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
Read Out Loud
On this site, you can look for a program where you can get a tutor, or find places you can go to classes to study reading and writing, GED, or English-as-a-Second Language.
Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School
Offers eight levels of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Students must purchase books and materials.
1100 Harvard St, NW
Washington, DC 20009
New Comer Service Org
Provides free evening English classes in both the DC and Virginia offices. Classes are open to newcomers from all countries and are geared toward beginners and intermediate-level students.
Washington DC Office
1628 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
People Without Borders-World Class Language Institute
This organization offers an opportunity to improve language skills for career advancement and personal development. The World Class Language Institute provides conversational English classes at Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced levels.
DC Metro English- Meet-Up Group
The DC Metro English as a Second Language (ESL) Club of Washington DC is a wonderful group of international people living in and around the Washington DC (DC/MD/VA) area. The meet-up is for internationals and native English speakers.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Civic Center
750 Eddy Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave
San Francisco, CA 94112
Call to inquire about when they offer Free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes on select days.
701 Sutter Street, 6th Floor
St. Giles International
785 Market Street #300
San Francisco, CA 94103-2006
Truman College of Chicago
17 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Chicago Cares- Community Services/Non-Profit
Call to Inquire about free ESL resources
Watertown Public Library
This website has a comprehensive list of free ESL progams in the Boston Area.